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ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


Using gun fire to absolutely trivialize a villain is pun pun levels actually with dramatic fights being a big draw of 7th sea. If your players only care about beep boop must win you should play a different game or find another group. using gunfire to weaken a group isn't the same and is cool if it descends into swashbuckling after.

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Glagha
Oct 13, 2008

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
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Ratoslov posted:

Starting with a salvo of gunfire before switching to swords in a pirate game is not frickin' Pun Pun.

No, but having the entire PC group of at least 5 people all simultaneously shoot the same target while being specifically optimized to shoot well so no one will miss, is definitely choosing to optimize in such a way that you don't have to play the game because the fear that everyone will just one-shot every major villain is what's being discussed.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


You could instead make it focused on villains that just can't be dealt with upfront but again your players will probably be upset with this if dealing with this hypothetical of a purely gunslinger party. They knew what they were getting into in this situation and wouldn't happen organically with people making what they, independently, thought was cool

megane
Jun 20, 2008



Don't forget, kids: if players build their characters to be effective but boring, it's their fault for being horrible powergamers, not the devs' fault for designing the game that way!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Realms of Sorcery

MORE RUNES

Normal runes are less individually powerful than Master Runes but have the advantage of being much easier, faster, and being able to combo with one another. A 3 rune weapon can give a Master Rune a run for its money in all ways.

The Rune of Cleaving is a simple, easy CN 14 Rune that takes 4 months to make. It gives the weapon +1 to damage. Nothing special, but in a game where +1 damage is a pretty significant advance this would be a welcome upgrade for any PC.

The Rune of Fate is a Talismanic Rune that can only be made Temporarily, interestingly. It's CN 16 and Empowerment 4, so it'll take a few hours and a Journeyman or better. When carried into battle, it lets the wearer ignore the first blow that would take them to or below 0 Wounds, then breaks. This is really helpful because it outright negates the attack. Say you got unlucky and took a 9 Wound hit from a cavalry charge or something; outright ignoring it leaves you with 9 Wounds left and in good shape to continue the fight. It's like a better version of being able to Burn Fate.

The Rune of Fire is a CN 17 Rune that takes 5 months, and it makes a weapon burst into flame on your command. It doesn't set people on fire, but it does shed light equal to a torch and provide +1 damage, which will stack with Cleaving. No word on if this counts as a flaming attack for purposes of stuff vulnerable to fire like some Life Wizards and Vampires, but I'd imagine it would. Should be specific about that kind of thing, though.

The Rune of Fortitude is a CN 17 Rune that takes 6 months, and makes the armor provide the wearer with +4 Wounds. I'd usually prefer more DR, but if you're in heavy armor, 4 wounds is actually a significant amount of extra staying power and will stack well on top of your normal Wounds from leveling. It'll probably let you eat one or two more hits.

The Rune of the Furnace is a CN 17 Talismanic Rune that takes 8 months (!) but grants the bearer total immunity to fire. Any attack that has a fire component bounces off them, magical or non-magical, do not roll damage, do not check DR. You want to walk through dragon's breath and dance around taunting Bright Wizards until they explode in fury, get one of these.

The Rune of Fury is a CN 20 (meaning only Master Runesmiths are likely to be able to make one) Weapon Rune and the best non-Master Weapon Rune, taking 6 months. They grant +1 Attacks. Remember that normally a character only ever has 3 attacks, even at high levels, and that an extra attack is usually the mark of a fighting character advancing an entire tier. End-boss level classes like Exalted Lord of Chaos and Vampire Lord are the only normal way to break the PC Attacks cap. Being able to get a 3rd attack early or a 4th attack when at cap is a huge improvement in a fighting character's capabilities.

The Rune of Grudges is a CN 12 Weapon Rune that takes 4 months to make. It allows you to narrow your eyes, point your weapon at one specific guy per combat, and mutter 'That's a grudgin' as a free action. You then get one free reroll on all missed attacks against that specific enemy for the remainder of this combat. This is pretty great if you want to be able to pick out one specific dangerous enemy per combat and go after them like an angry, bearded homing missile, and if you didn't want to do that what's wrong with you?

The Rune of Iron is a solid CN 15 Armor Rune that takes 6 months to make. It reduces all damage done to the wearer by 1, even damage that should ignore armor. This is pretty useful. Simple and very handy for the same reason all DR increases are handy.

The Rune of Luck is a CN 20 Talismanic Rune that takes 7 months to make. It provides the person wearing it with +1 Fortune points per day, or in temporary form, can be expended to instantly grant a Fortune point. Fortune Points totally rule, so this is very good. The odd bit is it won't work for anyone with the Lucky talent; they have the same kind of good luck naturally and the talisman can't do any more for them.

The Rune of Might is a CN 15 Weapon Rune that takes 5 months and is really weird, because nothing else in WHFRP2e works like it does outside of maybe that one vampire killing greatsword from Night's Dark Masters. It doubles your strength bonus if you use the weapon to attack something with 50 or high Toughness. Multiplying stats can really gently caress with scaling and this rune will let you do terrible things to anything that's relying on a high-ish TB and Wounds but no armor, which is probably the intent.

The Rune of Resistance is a CN 18 Armor Rune that takes 7 months to make. It's...weird. It only works against attacks that completely ignore TB and AV both, letting you make a Toughness save to try to negate the damage. The problem is, you take a -5% on the Toughness save per wound you're trying to stop. And if you have no TB or AV against an attack, you're probably taking a fair number of wounds. Also, only a few things ignore both sources of DR; the only one I can think of off the top of my head is the AoE d10 Damage no DR attack from Death Magic. Probably won't come up much.

The Rune of Shielding is a CN 14 Armor Rune that takes 5 months to make and is crazy powerful. It makes any non-magical missile attack inflict Damage 0 (so d10+0) against the wearer. So yes, this will basically make you immune to guns and bows if you have heavy armor and a good TB, allowing your dwarf to trundle endlessly towards frustrated and angry elves as they empty their quivers at you futilely. Off to the side, someone with the Virtue of Noble Disdain is screaming 'RIGHT ON, gently caress BOWS!' and fist-bumping you.

The Rune of Speed is a CN 6 Weapon Rune that only takes 3 months, and makes the weapon provide +d10 Initiative at the start of a fight. Beggars can't be choosers during your apprenticeship and this is the easiest rune in the game, but it isn't enormously useful.

The Rune of Spellbreaking is a CN 13 rune that can't be inscribed permanently, but the 3 Empowerment rating means it'll only take an hour or so to make. It's a Talisman, and is used to dispel on-going magic. It can't kill demons or unbind undead, and it can't target Ritual spells. You make a Runesmithing test at -10 per point of Mag from the spellcaster you're trying to stop, and if you succeed their spell is shattered. Breaking spells is always useful and this is one of the classic uses of Rune Magic.

The Rune of Spelleating is a CN 20 Rune with 5 Empowerment that works exactly like the Spellbreaking rune, except that if you succeed the original spellcaster can't use that spell again for 24 hours.

The Rune of Stone is the hardest rune an Apprentice might be able to inscribe, at CN 10 and 3 months. It simply provides +1 Armor to a suit of armor, raising its armor cap to 6. Simple, effective, stacks with Iron? Great. DR is always, always helpful in WHFRP2e.

The Rune of Striking is another simple one for apprentices, at CN 8 and 3 months to make. It makes a weapon grant +10% to WS when attacking. Combined with needing to be a Best weapon, this can give someone a +15% WS on attacks weapon. That never stops being a useful bonus, especially with how easy this rune is to inscribe. I imagine Striking ends up a part of most weapon-rune combos.

Finally, the Rune of Warding is another apprentice-capable rune at CN 9 and 3 months. It creates a Talisman that provides +10% to WP tests to resist magic. Simple, useful, easy to make.

So, that's runes. I'm sure you can see how combining 3 of these could make insane items. However, the temporary rune rules can let you start up the dwarfen crafting montage of justice just before climactic battles and that's always fun. Giving someone a sword that can temporarily turn into a blazing blade of grudge-settlin' that slays monsters like crazy just before you go fight a Chaos Dragon is the intended use of Runesmithing, I'm sure of it. The Permanent stuff is weird because it doesn't cost any resources or adventuring, just an awful lot of time and rolling dice.

If there's one thing I'd say is a persistent flaw in Realms of Sorcery it's the assumption that time is a good limiter on PC activities. Time is a boring limiter, and it's variable how much time is going to affect a given PC group depending on their GM and their preferred ideas about pacing. Linking all these research and potion making and runesmithing activities to storyline progress and character milestones would have been a better idea, as would making them less likely to kill the PCs (exception Runesmithing, which is totally safe and free). As it is, most of these systems will be ignored by most groups as too fiddly and too time consuming.

Next Time: Explosion Crimes

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!
Writing from page 805, but it feels a little strange that a thread that often claims that when a game presents character creation choices that mechanical benefits always trump RP ones is adamant to defend 7th sea gun rules saying that the party kerblaming Rourke or his vikingenforcerdottir mook at the start of the scene and then dealing with the mook wouldn't happen because of a gentleman agreement.

E: that why most of my crew in Pillars of Eternity have gun backups. Unload on the enemy at the start of the battle, finish him with actual weapons. It's so practical and when you're fighting Villains, you're not Batman, you are willing to kill them.

JcDent fucked around with this message at 16:52 on Jul 18, 2018

Ratoslov
Feb 15, 2012

Now prepare yourselves! You're the guests of honor at the Greatest Kung Fu Cannibal BBQ Ever!

megane posted:

Don't forget, kids: if players build their characters to be effective but boring, it's their fault for being horrible powergamers, not the devs' fault for designing the game that way!

Yeah, this is my point. This is a 100% in-genre strategy that the designers should have had firmly in mind when they made the game. This isn't something bizarre and obscure, this is a standard use case. The designers screwed up.

Barudak
May 7, 2007

Im of the opinion if you include something mechanically in a game the person to blame is yoursef if it leads to consequences you dont want, not the players using the tools you gave them.

Halloween Jack
Sep 12, 2003

La morte non ha sesso

megane posted:

Don't forget, kids: if players build their characters to be effective but boring, it's their fault for being horrible powergamers, not the devs' fault for designing the game that way!
I see this is still a thing with John Wick games

JcDent
May 13, 2013

Give me a rifle, one round, and point me at Berlin!

megane posted:

Don't forget, kids: if players build their characters to be effective but boring, it's their fault for being horrible powergamers, not the devs' fault for designing the game that way!

And that's why Fantasy Flight Games are geniuse that made Deathwatch the perfectly balanced games and there are no real issues with Devastators whatsoever.

ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


I guess but it seems really easy for a GM to realize what's going on after seeing their sheets and figuring a way to work around it or just talking with the players.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.
This argument is dumb because the prior is wrong. Guns are very strong, yes, but five party members shooting the villain to initiate combat almost certainly won't actually defeat the villain, between misses and villain abilities to negate hits/wounds/otherwise gently caress with the situation.

It gives you a big advantage, yes, but it's not a casual win button. You really have to sell out on firearms specialization to have it work reliably, and then you're going to be sub-par at basically everything else, to the point that shooting things is pretty much going to be your only viable option.

This whole discussion is based on a misunderstanding of the mechanics in question, and that's before we get to the fact that the 5 party members vs 1 villain situation is atypical for the kind of game this is anyways. If the party has managed to create that circumstance and the villain doesn't have the tricks to negate it - don't do combat! They almost certainly did a lot of work to create that situation and by pulling it off they've already won the encounter, same as you shouldn't bother having an 11th level D&D party fight level 1 goblins after they snuck around to the hidden back entrance of the evil fortress.

The game can already handle party members carrying around a couple of pistols each, even as powerful as they are. It's not going to negate encounters or rule out quip filled sword play.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!

ChaseSP posted:

The moral of the story is if your players are being powergaming grogs and won't accept they're missing the point either you A. gently caress with them ingame with a group of gun wielding henchmen which probably just pisses them off or B. Find new players/a different game to play.

I feel like you can't call players bad players for picking strong/superior options in a game. Everyone wants to be competent, no one wants to be unable to contribute or left behind the power curve. I think it's more accurate to say you can blame the game if it doesn't mechanically encourage, reward or support its core thematic/concept.

If you have to "gently caress with your players in-game" due to a mismatch of expectations, rather than talking to them like a rational adult, either you're the problem for even considering that option or you should just skip straight to B because your players cannot be salvaged.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Fencing In France

Most nobles have some passing knowledge of the sword, but few are Duelists. Montaignois culture prefers to avoid direct conflict, after all, and have raised passive aggression to a high art form. It does happen occasionally, though, that an insult rises to the level of physical quarrel, and so the courts pay to retain Duelists as bodyguards, often without really needing them. The Duelists of Montaigne find their roots primarily in Castillian and Vodacce traditions, enhanced by Montaignois ideas and rules. Lawyers in the Guild ensure that their contracts are deeply entrenched legalese, as well. This is for two main reasons. First, it means only the educated can understand dueling legality, preventing the poor from drawing steel on their betters. Second, by codifying dueling laws this way, death duels are rare. Duelists are expensive, after all.

Montaigne's duels must be within a Guildhall, and must be witnessed by a Guild member. Duels to first blood or a touch can be any member, but to the death requires a local Guildmaster. Verbal agreement is the only requirement for duels to first blood, but to the death requires written terms, signed by all involved. Duels to yield must be overseen by a Guild Chair, and lawyers of both sides often review terms. Death and yield duels must be approved by the ranking authority of the region. Death duels must be approved by l'Empereur. Thus, they are very rare. Most non-Duelists in Montaigne see the duels as a form of sport, an event to socialize and network at. Betting on them is in bad taste, however, and only done by the base. All agree that, regardless of the result, the insult that caused the duel is resolved, and seeking revenge for a duel's outcome is extremely illegal.

This doesn't mean illegal duels don't happen when passions flare. They do. The Montaignois do have a fiery streak, after all, and many Duelists have fought in unsanctioned duels. It is now tradition in Montaigne for a duelist to grant a rose to their opponent or rival. These normally are without thorn, but Duelists leave one thorn in for every unsanctioned duel they've fought in. This has led to some interesting non-duels, such as when Claire Bouchier presented her foe with three dozen thorny roses, and he yielded immediately. Some of the noble lines of Montaigne have also developed dueling traditions that rely on their Porte skills, making them highly feared. They are rumored to be able to move across the ground in a blink, striking from impossible angles. Officially, the Guild forbids all use of Porte in duels unless both fighters can use it. While many nobles have the magic, few Duelists are masters of it, at least officially. Unofficial duels between sorciers, however, often end in one trapping the other in the walkway.

In the village Auzat, high in Les Sommets Blancs, there is a chateau named Mont de Vore, home of the de Vore style of fencing. There, students learn posture, Montaigne's cultural superiority and efficient movements. They hold their rapiers high, parallel to the ground, and move as little as possible when fighting. On graduation, they receive a riding crop to remind them to have good posture. The head of the school is Monsieur Riche la Barre, a charismatic former member of the Lightning Guard who lost his left eye defending l'Empereur from an assassin, whom he slew while blinded. He left because of some scandal involving one of l'Empereur's daughters, but his life was spared due to his history, and he has retired to Mont de Vore to teach others. When wielding a rapier in your lead hand, you can use the de Vore Politesse Maneuver. When you do this, you select one character in the scene (which can be yourself) and spend all your remaining Raises. You prevent all Wounds that would be dealt to that character this round, including Wounds otherwise impossible to prevent, such as the Dramatic Wound from a gunshot. Wounds prevented this way must be dealt by someone else - damage from environmental effects, Consequences or sorcerous costs can't be prevented this way. You can use this only once per round.

Now, legends. Deep in the Lock-Horn, where the path is often overgrown and the sky is barely visible, you might lose the trail and become lost. It is said that when you do this in the twilight hours, you may run into a beautiful stallion, saddled, bridled and sized for you. However, you must always be sure to check the color of the horse's coat. If the horse is white, with a golden mane, he will lead you to safety and a clear path. If he is black, with a roan mane, he will take you only deeper into the woods. No one knows what happens to those that ride him. The horse's true name is Bayard and there's only one of him. He is a magical horse, friend to Jalan, and if you pay the traditional offering to the King of the Forest and act respectfully, he will help you. If not, he will bring you to Jalan and let the Sidhe decide what your fate should be. The reason he changes color is to amuse himself. In winter he's generally pale, and in summer he is dark; this has nothing to do with if he's going to help you or not. Some say the material of the bridle or style of saddle determine if he'll help - this is also fasle.

Strange tales surround Les Sommets Blancs and Mount Dore, of strange events when blizzards hit. The snowflakes form into les Dames Blanches, the White Maidens. They dance and sing in the snowstorms, inviting travelers to join them. This may seem a trap, but legend has it that it will ensure you travel safely through the storm, and denying them will trap you forever. Descriptions vary - some say they are solid women with pale skin and dresses, others that they are merely shapes of whirling snow. Their voices always sound like wind surrounding you, though. In fair weather, you may seek their aid by offering up a trinket when you go to sleep. It must be white and hold some value - typically, a silk or fine linen handkerchief, a lace fan, gloves or a hair ribbon. If left in the snow overnight, they vanish, replaced by footprints that lead you back to a lost path. Many say those lost on the mountains join les Dames Blanches forever in their dance.

The truth is that there is great magic around Mount Dore's peak, causing les Dames Blanches to form from snow and wind. The magical energy follows the paths most often used by travelers, and so following the movements of the illusory snow women will often lead to safety, though not always. They only help those they like, often in exchange for a wonderful gift. Gifts thrown over the side of a cliff work best, and causes the illusions to actually try to help you out. Tributes left in the snow might get the same help in clearing a snowed-in path, but are less reliable. If they are fought, they vary in power but are usually Strength 4 and Elemental.

Next time: Dame Fortune, the black coin and the Vaticine Angel

LGD
Sep 25, 2004

Comrade Gorbash posted:

This argument is dumb because the prior is wrong. Guns are very strong, yes, but five party members shooting the villain to initiate combat almost certainly won't actually defeat the villain, between misses and villain abilities to negate hits/wounds/otherwise gently caress with the situation.

It gives you a big advantage, yes, but it's not a casual win button. You really have to sell out on firearms specialization to have it work reliably, and then you're going to be sub-par at basically everything else, to the point that shooting things is pretty much going to be your only viable option.
just gonna clear this up- anyone saying that you need to "invest" in a "firearms specialization" and can "miss" absolutely does not understand how 7th sea rules work, full stop

for a clear illustration of this just look at the core book's example of actual play

7th Sea 2e, page 184 posted:

GM: Bustillo sneers at Brand. ďIíve come too far to be stopped by the likes of you! Youíll have that gem over my dead body!Ē Sheíll spend her Raise and level her pistol at the mouthy Vesten.

Brand: Maybe I didnít think this through...

GM: She spends a Raise and pulls the trigger. Brand, you take 1 Wound, and 1 Dramatic Wound from being shot.

Brand: Oof, that hurts! Can I spend a Raise to reduce those Wounds?

GM: Yes, you can spend a Raise to avoid the Wound, but not the Dramatic Wound. Not even Heroes can dodge bullets. Who has themost Raises?

also note that the villain actually isn't going to be able to do anything about it unless they're specifically a monster with the regeneration ability (in which case they'll quickly blow through all of the Danger points to survive, something that can be negated by just shooting them again)- human Villains don't get extra wounds/danger points don't negate dramatic wounds/there are not actually a plethora of (i.e. any) dramatic wound negating abilities for them to take

quote:

This whole discussion is based on a misunderstanding of the mechanics in question, and that's before we get to the fact that the 5 party members vs 1 villain situation is atypical for the kind of game this is anyways. If the party has managed to create that circumstance and the villain doesn't have the tricks to negate it - don't do combat! They almost certainly did a lot of work to create that situation and by pulling it off they've already won the encounter, same as you shouldn't bother having an 11th level D&D party fight level 1 goblins after they snuck around to the hidden back entrance of the evil fortress.

The game can already handle party members carrying around a couple of pistols each, even as powerful as they are. It's not going to negate encounters or rule out quip filled sword play.
it doesn't *need* to be 5 on 1- the point is that even in scenarios where the party is equally matched or outnumbered numerically, choosing to use the completely unprecedented and powergamey tactics of "carry pistols in a pirate/swashbuckling adventure setting" and "focus your attacks on the big threat" means any 4 characters can remove any other character from the scene with no recourse once per round (once for every pistol each of them carries)

they don't need to put in effort and they don't need to put in skill- in D&D terms any grouping of 4 level 1 commoners can use pistols to instantly kill an elder dragon or lich, and in turn a level 20 wizard PC can be taken out by 4 kobolds

that's actually why it's a problem- the power of heroes and villains doesn't really matter in the face of firearms and they're actually entirely capable of negating many encounters or eliminating opportunities for quip filled swordplay, and it's something that can be stumbled upon fairly easily (since again all it requires is that people have guns and notice how much better they are than anything else on a per-action basis)


I actually mostly quite like the new version 7th sea, it's just still a John Wick game- I don't know why people are so resistant to the idea that it has some underbaked rules elements that are broken in half and to my eye this is the most egregious

LGD fucked around with this message at 18:35 on Jul 18, 2018

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.
There is literally a dueling style in the post above yours that can negate dramatic wounds from gunshots.

Comrade Gorbash fucked around with this message at 18:24 on Jul 18, 2018

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

✨sparkle and shine✨

LGD posted:

I actually mostly quite like the new version 7th sea, it's just still a John Wick game- I don't know why people are so resistant to the idea that it has some underbaked rules elements that are broken in half and to my eye this is the most egregious

Because weíre all trolling morons insisting that rules are physics!

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
'Not even heroes can dodge bullets' is a pretty stupid line for an action story to take.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.

Night10194 posted:

'Not even heroes can dodge bullets' is a pretty stupid line for an action story to take.
That, I agree with, especially since it's not functionally true in the mechanics.

LGD
Sep 25, 2004

Comrade Gorbash posted:

There is literally a dueling style in the post above yours that can negate dramatic wounds from gunshots.

yeah I should remove the "any" there to be accurate, though I'll fully cop to not being aware of all the abilities in supplements, but a handful of abilities existing doesn't really change the nature of the criticism much

(for completeness I should also note I ignored the "hard to kill" quality (gives an extra dramatic wound) and some forms of sorcery (specifically glamor's bullet catch and mother's touch's regeneration) that would allow you to spend danger points to counter a limited number of gunshots)

LGD fucked around with this message at 18:41 on Jul 18, 2018

unseenlibrarian
Jun 4, 2012

There's only one thing in the mountains that leaves a track like this. The creature of legend that roams the Timberline. My people named him Sasquatch. You call him... Bigfoot.

Subjunctive posted:

Because weíre all trolling morons insisting that rules are physics!

Dude, you were talking about how obviously it should be known in the setting that 4 bullets can't kill you, you were absolutely leaning into the rules as physics nonsense and should stop digging the hole.

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.

LGD posted:

(for completeness I should also note I ignored the "hard to kill" quality (gives an extra dramatic wound) and some forms of sorcery (specifically glamor's bullet catch and mother's touch's regeneration) that would allow you to spend danger points to counter a limited number of gunshots)
This is precisely my point. You're crafting a nightmare scenario that requires pretending a bunch of other mechanics in the game don't exist, and then saying other people don't understand the game.

Maybe the reason you're getting push back because you don't actually know what you're talking about.

PurpleXVI
Oct 30, 2011

Spewing insults, pissing off all your neighbors, betraying your allies, backing out of treaties and accords, and generally screwing over the global environment?
ALL PART OF MY BRILLIANT STRATEGY!

Comrade Gorbash posted:

This is precisely my point. You're crafting a nightmare scenario that requires pretending a bunch of other mechanics in the game don't exist, and then saying other people don't understand the game.

Maybe the reason you're getting push back because you don't actually know what you're talking about.

Okay, for those of us without an encyclopedic overview. How many ways are there actually of defending against firearms in this edition of 7th Sea? My impression at the moment is that there are some, but that it's very plausible for most characters and villains to end up without any.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - O Fortuna

In the markets of Montaigne, a common sign worn by merchants around the neck or displayed over the door is a coin with a hole in it. This coin, traditionally the first earned by the merchant, is an offering to Dame Fortune. They say it ensures a thriving business as long as it can be clearly seen. Merchants also frequently toss a coin into the canal each morning to draw business and avoid police. Legend has it that Dame Fortune herself sometimes appears around closing time, and may stop in to make a purchase. If she is treated badly, you are doomed for one year to terrible business, and if you treat her well, your business will boom. She looks no different than any other customer, though. And if you forget to display your holed coin, she will ignore your shop and it will not last another month. She does not protect those who don't offer tribute to her, but does protect those who do. Even the most competitive merchant would not dare steal or tamper with a holed coin, for fear of Dame Fortune's wrath, and all merchants will happily tell the legend of Dame Fortune.

The truth? Well, the force of people's superstitions can cause the effects blamed on Dame Fortune sometimes. New merchants just follow the tradition to avoid being outcast or ignored for breaking it, even if Dame Fortune's not real. Many eventually learn that there is a specific coin, made of dark metal and worn around the neck, which marks a merchant out to buyers who want a black market deal. The practice actually began with Eve, la Reine des Catacombes, but has spread across Montaigne. Anyone selling illegal goods without the dark coin is either an idiot or a cop. Law-abiding merchants learn to ignore the dark coins and not report them, because the dark merchants are not squeamish about silencing people. Dame Fortune herself, well, no one knows. She might not be real.

Le Diable du Sommet is a tale told of the dangerous mountain regions, particularly Mount Dore. They say a creature lives there that craves human blood, but will steal livestock if it can't get any. Travelers are told to avoid the woods around the mountains, and never to travel at night, for that is when the devil hunts the peaks. It is said to be an immense creature, as at home on four legs as two, with an abnormally large body covered in a thick coat of matted reddish fur. It has wicked horns and claws, and its legs end in hooves. No one is sure what animal it is, or if it even is one, given it walks on two legs a lot. Perhaps, they say, it was once human. Others say it is a pure, nightmarish demon of Legion. It has tormented the valleys for a long time, especially the cattle ranches, and Pierre Flaubert de Dore regularly sends hunters to kill it. While they have often returned with the skins and heads of various beasts, the attacks have never really stopped, just paused for a few weeks or months. No manner of corpse destruction has worked, either. The people say the beast is immortal, rising from death each time.

Local predators are the cause of some of the attacks, but not all. The average wolf, for example, lacks the power to behead a cow. Some say it is a bear instead; they aren't wrong. The same magic that creates les Dames Blanches has wrapped illusions around le Diable, warping one of the mountain bears to immense size, strength and age. The tales of goat hooves and horns are false, invented by locals to demonize the beast. It doesn't hibernate, hunting year-round, and often attacks towns in winter, when other prey is scarce. Few have ever run into it personally, though it has several old scars from the times it has been found. The reason it is said to be immortal is that it can heal from pretty much any wound that doesn't kill it; it is not undead. It is a Strength 6, Fearsome and Powerful Monster.

The people of Dechaine have largely returned to their Vaticine faith, now that they've kicked out the nobility. They gather in the city's small cathedral, and pray for Theus' aid. They pray harder than most, for they have the Vaticine Angel. It is said to come by night, leaving food, blankets and other such goods for faithful families in need. To show devotion, people have started to inscribe symbols of faith on their doorframes or hang Prophet's Crosses and above them. The Angel is in theory active across Montaigne, but is spoken of most in Dechaine, where it leaves supplies for the community at the cathedral as well as its home visits. The deliveries are usually on foggy nights, and are taken as a sign that the revolution is good and should be spread.

The truth is that this entire thing began with priests in hiding, using their resources to help local communities without insulting their flocks by giving them charity. After all, the Montaingois are proud people who don't like to take handouts. Gifts from Theus are different - they aren't given in pity. And so, in La Motte and Dechaine, the priests have taken to operating as the Vaticine Angel, inspiring some elsewhere in the country to do similar. They deliver much-needed resources to the people as well as organizing shipments to places like Mont du Flambeau. They serve their own people first, but will not ignore anyone in need. They work independently of any secret society, but Mociutes Skara is aware of the priests using the Angel disguise, and they try to help where they can.

It is well known that Eve Lafrisee controls all crime in Charouse and is terrible to cross. Speaking ill of her or backing out of a deal earns terrible, swift punishment. There is even gossip of disappeared nobles; in polite society, this is referred to as falling under Son Ombre, Her Shadow. The implication is always that those who deal in the dark are not safe. Nobles don't generally fear assassination, but those involved in the underground know there's a lot of danger. It doesn't seem to matter how secretive you are - speak or act against the Queen of the Underworld and you get beaten down and, usually, lose some goods or cash in the bargain. Even nobles have died to it. When asked about it, Eve just smirks. Some say she has a handful of secret spies and enforcers that uphold her reputation and maintain her so far perfect alibis. Eve herself has noticed that her will's enforcement has gone beyond anything she pays for. There is something helping and protecting her, and she has no idea what. It's never asked her for repayment, though, and apparently supports her unconditionally. She's happy to leave it at that. The truth is that Eve has an elder sister that she is never met. Margaux Lafrisee was separated from her family very young, and sought out Eve after hearing of her brother Arnault's death. She shadowed her sister for some time, watching as Eve rose in power. While Margaux lacks the conviction to run a criminal empire herself, she often assists her little sister from the shadows, typically as a hooded figure in the crowd. She is Strength 6, Influence 4, and mostly spends her Influence to hire street thugs to protect her sister's plans and reputation.

Finally, the Sword of Achille is a relic dating back to the Third Prophet. It was wielded by one of his paladins of the faith, Achille, who came to Montaigne, uniting the people and establishing the Vaticine faith in the region as the dominant one. The people were in awe of Achille, who fought any that would harm the Vaticines, winning even against powerful sorcery. Many converted in the belief that he was divinely protected, and after his death he was buried in the catacombs under the Grand Cathedral. His sword was displayed by the Church for many years, until l'Empereur banned the faith. Since then, it has vanished, though scholars are sure it still exists and will surface again - some say to bring about another religious revolution. The peasantry see the sword as a symbol of the faith that they might rally around, and it is said to ignite into bright white flame in the hands of the faithful, ensuring victory and fortune in spreading the word of Theus.

The sword exists. Most of its power has nothing to do with magic or holy blessings, however. Rather, it is a dracheneisen blade, and has lost none of its power. Its 'flaming' in the hands of the faithful is a reference to its shining color, and its innate power against sorcerers is what helped Achille to defeat them. For centuries, the blade was kept in the catacombs under Charouse, hidden in an unassuming name while another sword sat on display. This was to keep it out of the gaze of die Kreuzritter, who hate seeing dracheneisen they don't control. Various scholarly groups moving artifacts have left its exact location a mystery, especially since the blade is kept in a plain, unadorned scabbard rather than its fine original one. To date, no one has found the sword, and the group that took it out of the catacombs may not even know what it is, thanks to the secrecy it was kept under.

Next time: Vestenmennavenjar

Subjunctive
Sep 12, 2006

✨sparkle and shine✨

unseenlibrarian posted:

Dude, you were talking about how obviously it should be known in the setting that 4 bullets can't kill you, you were absolutely leaning into the rules as physics nonsense and should stop digging the hole.

I was asking how well characters in game understood the plot armour they and others were granted, as characters in genre works often seem to. I eventually, in spite of the vitriol, saw where the disconnect was in my understanding, and said so. Even if I had been trying to build a steam generator out of fire cantrips, though, the personal insults and attacks werenít necessary or justified.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
Nobody's got personal.

Fine: it's bad rules.

Now everyone shut the gently caress up and talk about how cool the porte dimension is instead of this bullshit argument.

LGD
Sep 25, 2004

Comrade Gorbash posted:

This is precisely my point. You're crafting a nightmare scenario that requires pretending a bunch of other mechanics in the game don't exist, and then saying other people don't understand the game.

Maybe the reason you're getting push back because you don't actually know what you're talking about.

nah, I can own it when I overstate things - there are a small handful of abilities a player or GM can pick from that can make pistols marginally less effective and can require the opposing force to scrounge up an extra shot or two

but with the sole exception of "hard to kill" those abilities are extremely not generic or common things (which imposes limits on credible opposition if you think this is the proper "counter" to gun supremacy), and with the sole exception of Bullet Catch they don't actually do anything to make pistol blasting less optimal vs. other approaches (and for those without the rules: this isn't because Bullet Catch is a particularly strong counter, it just only applies to thrown/shot objects rather than everything like regeneration)



to my mind that's a bit different from misunderstanding the core resolution mechanism vis-a-vis "missing" with guns being a possibility, or thinking using guns effectively requires substantial character investment when it manifestly doesn't

LGD fucked around with this message at 19:06 on Jul 18, 2018

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Something's been bugging me about Theah and I can't tell if it's just the omission of player facing hooks or what but it just feels too full. Every plot already feels like somebody's on it, between the dozens of secret societies and NPCs.

MollyMetroid
Jan 20, 2004

Trout Clan Daimyo
That is primarily because mors is not giving you all the hooks that the books offer. Every single NPC mentioned has at least two story hooks provided. There's tons of adventure available, it's just...buy the books if you want those, is what mors said.

Like even without that--the whole situation with Montegue is not presented as a single thing. Let's break Montegue down a bit:

-is the husband of the youngest princess of Montaigne
-is a general who did pretty OK all things considered in Castille but has been recalled
-is supposed to be in Ussura except nobody's seen him there
-(this one you won't know because it's in a story hook that Mors omitted) one of his buddies had Marked him with Porte but now can't find that Mark
-is actually in a big ol' secret prison

There's nobody who has all this information except l'empereur, but there's plenty of people who want to find Montegue. It's literally just waiting for the players to jump in and join in some Man in the Iron Mask shenanigans or something.

MollyMetroid fucked around with this message at 19:19 on Jul 18, 2018

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.

Night10194 posted:

Something's been bugging me about Theah and I can't tell if it's just the omission of player facing hooks or what but it just feels too full. Every plot already feels like somebody's on it, between the dozens of secret societies and NPCs.
There are actually a lot of player facing hooks, but Mors isn't including all of them. Basically every NPC or NPC group comes with a two or three, and there are more in location descriptions, often specifically pegged out at the end of each write up.

Also I think the NPCs and plots don't quite play out that way. A lot of the situations are in unstable equilibrium at the moment, and PCs can easily tip the scales if they take an interest.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
I know, that's why I say the omission. I know all of that is being left out of the review.

E: What is the actual pagecount on these books? If this is how much material we're getting and there's a fair bit left out, it must be pretty substantial.

GimpInBlack
Sep 27, 2012

That's right, kids, take lots of drugs, leave the universe behind, and pilot Enlightenment Voltron out into the cosmos to meet Alien Jesus.

Night10194 posted:

I know, that's why I say the omission. I know all of that is being left out of the review.

E: What is the actual pagecount on these books? If this is how much material we're getting and there's a fair bit left out, it must be pretty substantial.

The core is 300 pages, and the sourcebooks are all around 210.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018

7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Guilder Rules

For centuries, the Vestenmennavenjar existed as subsistence farmers in the ice and snow, raiding other lands for any wealth and resources beyond the meager few of their native home. Now, the Vendel League has brought unprecedented prosperity, and the raiding economy is now the trading economy, which some have embraced and others have not. The nation is an economic powerhouse, with the Guilder growing stronger by the day. It has no king, no ruler, no crown. It does not need one. Each town and village has its jarl to run things and its carl to handle the economy. There are nobles and strong families, yes, generations of brave heroes who have earned the fame of words by the strength of deeds. But unlike kings and queens, the jarls work with the carls, they don't necessarily rule them.

Once, Vesten was seen as a land of bandits and barbarians. It is now one of the most peaceful on the planet. Under the Vendel League, their merchants have discovered that trade can bring incredible profit, and while the Vesten remain brave and strong, they no longer really need violence to support the economy. They often wonder why no other nation seems to have caught on, in this war-torn world. The jarls maintain executive power, controlling law and policy, but the carls hold the power. Every carl is, in some capacity, a member of the Vendel League, and they represent the League's interests, working closely with the Guilds to ensure the nation runs on a solid economic foundation. While no single ruler leads the nation, the League serves as a kind of central government, deciding best practices and the standards the carls bring to the jarls. Many seeking to become carls cross Theah as representatives of the League, pushing its agenda of profit and getting its hands into all other nations.

Vesten appears, to an outsider, to be weak. It has no army, not vital exports, no ruler. Its navy is a mercantile fleet, its bays are hounded by piracy. And yet, League ships reach most ports safely, the Vesten export more luxury goods than anyone else, the Guilder is accepted almost everywhere, and there are Guildhalls in almost every major city in Theah. The Vesten learned long ago that war was no way to make friends, and have been working to gain power by being a force of stability and economic strength. Why have a military fleet when your ships are welcome everywhere? Why have an army when no one will bar your travelers? Why conquer anywhere when your coin is spent on every corner? While their influence is far from complete, the Vendel League has spread its power far and wide. They deal weapons to everyone, they take bribes from Vodacce to influence prices in Castille, they buy Sarmatian food and sell it to Eisen for weapons to sell to Ussura. If there's trade, they're part of it, or at least know about it.

Frederick Ulfsen, Jarl of Vendel, is the hand-picked replacement for the last powerful jarl of the city of Vendel. He's not a bad man by any means, but he's not a good leader. Many believe this is deliberate by the League. Frederick, unlike most jarls, was not raised a warrior, but a furrier and dealer in luxury furs in the north. He charmed Sofia, daughter of the old jarl of Klorhulg, and she was happy to move to Vendel with him. Many say she's the real reason Frederick's popular with the League - she's a shrewd planner. Her young love dimmed, however, as she grew tired of her husband's expensive tastes and selfishness. When he grew bored of fur, he took his wife's advice and invested in silver, which paid off wildly when the Guilder became accepted across the world. With his wealth, he bought an advisory role under his uncle, Aksel Redhand, the old Jarl of Vendel. Due more to his personality than his skill, he became quite popular as a supporter of art, education and charity, and generally being a really nice guy. He inherited the jarldom upon his uncle's mysterious and untimely death, and while still popular, his peers have long suspected he has no real political power - rightly, as it happens. His frequent visits by influential foreigners lead some to believe his loyalty to Vesten and the League isn't great, and some fear that he, perhaps unknowingly, provides confidential information to enemy spies. He is a handsome, fashionable (if overpolished) man who cares deeply about his appearance and mainland fashion. He is easily flattered, bribed and seduced, and he gets very angry and petty if his appearance is insulted. However, he is not quite as incompetent as the League believes. He hates their use of slavery and works to undermine the slavers' power in the League, though he's worried he'll get caught at it without help. His apparently supportive wife, Sofia, actually hates him and wants him dead, but not until her kids are old enough to inherit. Some say she resents Frederick for being made jarl over her, as she is far more politically skilled.

Gylffi Hafgrimmr, Jarl of Klorhulg, is a wise but very grim man. He wants his people to prosper, but he fears the benefits of the League are outweighed by their price. He has served as jarl for several decades, and is renowned for his strength and dedication. His people have survived off the land for a long time, harvesting furs from the animals of the ice floes, fishing when the sea thaws and working the silver mines. Recently, however, his town has changed from a working outpost kept alive by bravery to a bustling town on the backs of slave labor. This concerns him. He, like many of Klorhulg, spent much time in the mines as a youth, and he knows the difficulties of mining firsthand. He worries not only for the oft-abused slaves that work the mines and the moral toll that using them is taking on his people. Slavery is technically illegal in Vestenmennavenjar, but the use of indentured servants, or thralls, is common. Laws protect thralls and give them rights, making it difficult to force them to work day in and day out in the mines. Some of the League have been importing slaves, forcing them work in the mines and lying to anyone who asks about their origins - even Gylffi. Mociutes Skara has recently come to Klorhulg, and while Gylffi is unsure why, he's glad of the help. He is a very traditional sea-king of the Vesten, with braided hair and whalebone in his beard. He refuses to dress in foreign styles, or to adorn himself with foreign jewels. He's easy to meet for outsiders, as he believes hospitality is his sacred duty, and he is fair and generous, but neither gullible nor naive. He might help those that share his concerns, but he has nothing but scorn for bribes or insults. The Vendel have maneuvered most other prominent leaders of the town out of the area, so he has few allies right now. He quietly turns a blind eye to and funds groups that try to free slaves, but most appear impartial publically, so he can't help as much as he wants.

Ragna Ankidatter, Jarl of Kirk, would have been perfect...oh, a century or two ago. She is fierce, wise and honorable. However, she is not necessarily modern. She was the seventh daughter of a seventh daughter, destined to lead even from childhood, groomed for the job. She's nearly a century old, and was fostered by the old Jarl of Kirk, who taught her all a jarl needed to know...a century ago. Her traditional focus has served well, but brought her into conflict with the Vendel, who seek to break from some traditions. Vesten folklore claims that the Jarl of Kirk is immortal, merely changing in form, and that when the old jarl dies, their soul retreats into an eagle's egg in their chest, which their successor removes and swallows, gaining their knowledge. Keeping this in mind, Ragna struggles to find a successor to carry on her legacy. She's been grooming potentials for decades, but all of them have died in strange circumstances. She's currently training a number of people, hoping at least one survives her and can continue her traditional ways. However, one of them has a poor constitution, and another, her favorite, is so much like her that almost everyone realizes he's poorly suited to lead the city in the future. The League did not consult her about creating the Breffa, their minting operation in Kirk, though she does understand the political and economic reasons they put it there. She doesn't understand the Mestrkirk, however, and has adamantly opposed the cathedral, which she sees as heresy and corruption to the traditional Vesten ways. The Master Church continues apace, despite her best efforts. Despite her age, Ragna is a tall, potent woman, with braided hair to her waist and traditional, timeless clothing. She carries a staff that is both cane and weapon, and she really does want the best for her people. However, she assumes all traditions are good, and all modern changes are corrupt.

Alvor Ekillsdatter is the leader of the pirate fleet known as the Vesten Raiders, the best-known of the Vesten pirate queens. Her crew loves her, and she has not given up the old way of raiding and theft from other ships. Some blame the Vendel League for not stopping the Raiders, and others wonder if they are somehow connected, since the Raiders never target Vendel ships. Ekillsdatter began life as a fisherman's daughter in Eskjo, but was captured by pirates, who intended to sell her into slavery. She escaped by her daring and wits and a whole lot of luck, making her way home by working aboard various freebooter vessels and discovering that, even when she did get back, the sea and piracy were part of her now. Thus, she set out on her own to gather a crew of raiders. She's worked with numerous crews over the years until, at last, she got her own ship within the Vesten Raiders. Now, over a decade later, she commands the fleet thanks to her intellect, daring, practicality and nearly unnatural luck. She's middle-aged now and has spent most of her life at sea. She's a leathery tan and very scarred, dressing practically and in layers. She enjoys taking trophies in the form of hats, scarves and jewelry from her quarries. She is jovial, and she seems to thrive as much on risk as on profit. She never denies a challenge of any kind, fencing, racing or gambling, and will even take on overwhelming odds if the offer is made in the right way to catch her interest. She never cheats, but anything that doesn't break a stated rule is fair to her, and she respects those who beat her by thinking outside the box.

Elisif Geirsdatter is a brusque, businesslike woman with a great head for numbers. She started as daughter and assistant to a fur trader in Klorhulg, then worked her way up to be the town carl before being persuaded to head to Kirk and become mistress of the League mint. She's always been a very independent woman, as her father left her alone for long periods at a young age, and by the time she was a teen, she handled most of the business end of his fur trade so he could concentrate on trapping. After his death, she worked for the city and eventually became its youngest ever carl. Not long after the slave imports began, she was offered the chance to lead the Breffa, which'd mean relocating to Kirk. This was done as much to prevent her from protesting about the mining slaves as it was to use her business skills, and now she is far too busy with the mint to think much about what's going on back home...though it hasn't stopped her from sending letters to Mociutes Skara about the situation. She is nominally in charge of records, but she handles pretty much all the high-level work of the Breffa, including arranging Guilder shipments, supervising mining quotas and ensuring the underground mint remains a secret. She is intelligent and witty - far moreso than many expect, given her youth - and carries herself with military precision and control in all aspects of her life. She has no real time for intrigue or romance, considering work to be almost sacred. Any attempt to get her to stop that via bribery or blackmail would be prosecuted to the fullest extent she could push for. Her big vulnerability is her concern for the effects of the mines on Klorhulg, which someone who wanted to influence the Mint could exploit.

Ivethay, Giantess of the Island, is legendary - the giant witch who claims Ivethay Island at the center of Wyrd Lake. Ivethay does not, however, exist in the way most people expect. Ivethay is a word meaning crone or witch, and it's a title given to the most respected wise woman of the Ukonsaari tribe, who live on the island. The current Ivethay is Brynhild Bergljot, who's held the post for nearly a decade after her mother retired. She was raised for the role and deeply understands the Ukonsaari beliefs and traditions as well as being a skilled diplomat. She is also a good tracker and hunter, who often travels the length of the island alone, as the Ivethay must not live with any one village and must split her time among them all, offering blessings and advice. By tradition, the Ivethay may have no husband (though she is expected to take various lovers, and can bear children fostered among the tribe). The Ukonsaari consider all adopted children to be the Ivethay's, just fostered out, even if they never meet the Ivethay. She is both a mother and spiritual leader to the people, as well as a war leader, political representative and arbiter of disputes. She unifies the various villages of the Ukonsaari, keeping the peace. All of the islanders respect her, but the groups are warlike and often raid each other when they think they can get away with it. She represents them to the outside, and anything shipped in must pass her inspection first. Brynhild is a head taller than the average Vesten, who are tall enough on average, and is often seen carrying a child. She is never unarmed, and she plans to hold the role for maybe another decade before she passes the job on to a daughter, either adopted or born to her. Those who approach the Ivethay generally find her wary but reasonable, focused first on protecting her people and the children they take in before all else. Those who threaten her people find her an unyielding, eternal foe. She's having some trouble with fosterlings, though - the current Vesten don't need to abandon children much any more, and the islanders won't survive without that population supplement, but she doesn't want to steal children. She wants to open the island, but that gets pushback from more traditional islanders.

Next time: The League

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.
Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Realms of Sorcery

Explosions!?

I'll just be summarizing the adventure for Realms, but it's actually a pretty good one if you play along with what it intends. It's expecting the party to prefer tricking and sneaking their way through problems rather than fighting and comes with 4 just-finished-their-first-career PCs: A clever young Grey Wizard who has just learned his lore and who is determined to do something useful and good with his powers no matter who he has to trick, a quick-footed mercenary halfling who's a good shot with a crossbow (this is actually the party muscle), a failed priest turned barber-surgeon who is very brave and good with people, and an excellent fast-talking ex-lady in waiting turned burgler. The pre-mades are very well suited to the adventure and pretty good in general, if a bit lacking in muscle (really, a Halfling as your fighter?).

The adventure centers around a more roguish or scholarly party being offered a fair bit of money and respect by a Magister of the Orders if they will investigate a strange happening at a wine festival in Averland, one of the agricultural heartlands of the Empire. People are exploding. As in, big ball of bright light, fire, and crater exploding. No-one's sure why, but it's a fair bet that both magic and probably wine are involved. The adventure strongly recommends one PC be a Journeyman Wizard so that the party understands magical affairs. They arrive to find that yes, people are spontaneously combusting and exploding in Averland, but they can't stop the yearly wine festival; it's one of the most important economic events in the province, and it coincides with the halfling holy festival of Pie Week (it's a week where you eat pie) anyway. There are a couple red herrings, like an insane halfling murderer who loves setting fires who exists to draw the PCs off a bit, but the situation is rather more bizarre than yet another evil Chaos Cult.

There is a local doctor of medicine and philosophy named Draupner who has been experimenting with the why and how of magical ability. He wants to find out what makes a mage a mage, compared to a mundane person. To that end, he had managed to convince two rather stupid local crime bosses that he was on the trail of making a substance that could grant the gift of magic. They thought they could sell this and shelled out the money to support his experiments, despite the fact that any sane man should've run screaming from the room when he mentioned sowing the grapes of a field with warpstone. Warpstone never works out. This is the source of the exploding victims, and also several exploding cows: These are people Draupner has fed his special 'make a person magic' wine. When he first showed it off, it allowed the drinker to produce small fires and other magic phenomena...before the drinker exploded in a spherical burst of fire and light. One of the two Crime Bosses, Albrecht Swearmonger, thought this meant this was blasphemy before the God of Thieves, Ranald, since Ranald demands no killing. His former partner Faustman decided this meant the wine was still valuable, even if it only turned out to be a way to make living bombs, and seized the production and recipe and tried to kill his old partner. Draupner didn't care too much as long as he got to keep working, and Faustman has been happy to slip his work to various derelicts and homeless folks to test it ever since.

Your PCs slowly figure this all out while investigating and dealing with the red herring firebug halfling murderer, and then are approached by Swearmonger once they get close enough. He proposes a trick whereby the PCs pretend to murder him as Faustman's partner at the evil bidding auction where Faustman is showing off the explosion wine to a variety of super-villain wannabes and accuse Faustman of running a con, which then starts a massive brawl between a vampire looking for a new way to assassinate other vampires, a bored mercenary captain who thought the wine sounded amusing, and an ulrican terrorist who wants to swap the stuff with ceremonial wine at the Sigmarite temple in Middenheim. Once the PCs start this brawl, their goal is to destroy the remaining wine and fight their way through the chaos to safety while the various murderers and cutthroats resolve themselves behind them.

In general it's a pretty fun idea for a comic adventure with a conclusion that might include vampire on mafia on mercenary on terrorist violence while minions explode in the background from evil wine and the PCs try to jump out a window and run for it after provoking each major combatant into going at each other's throats, which is hardly the worst way a wine tasting could end.

So that's it for the Realms of Sorcery. They add a lot to the general spell lists of the Lores, Runesmithing is an interesting if slightly mixed bag, and the fluff is great at fleshing out more theories about how magic works and why. It's got a good, solid history of some of the older and more mysterious events of the Old World and even some speculation about the Old Ones, while leaving most of that open to fill in. The book is marred by player-unfriendly mechanics and its over-use of long downtimes as a limiter on player activities, and many of its subsystems are too complex for their own good. Still, for one of the first sourcebooks of the line, it's a good start, and it got better from there.

Next Time: The Tome of Salvation Begins

Josef bugman
Nov 17, 2011

Pictured: Poster prepares to celebrate Holy Communion (probablY)

This avatar made possible by a gift from the Religionthread Posters Relief Fund

megane posted:

Don't forget, kids: if players build their characters to be effective but boring, it's their fault for being horrible powergamers, not the devs' fault for designing the game that way!

Is there any system that does not, in some way, let you do this?

I mean the more complex ones, not like Heroquest or BiTD or Apoc world?

Comrade Gorbash
Jul 12, 2011

My paper soldiers form a wall, five paces thick and twice as tall.

Josef bugman posted:

Is there any system that does not, in some way, let you do this?

I mean the more complex ones, not like Heroquest or BiTD or Apoc world?
Generally no but some systems are better about keeping the effective but boring option from being the best option.

Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
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7th Sea 2: Nations of Theah, Vol. 1 - Not The Most Evil Capitalists In The Game, Because ATC

Lucas Gillespie grew up in the Highlands, listening to stories of the Knights of Elilodd. He idolized the heroes and heroines of these tales, hoping to one day be like them. He studied the Sidhe, the ancient laws of Glamour, the code of the Knights and more. All that was tested when a Sidhe settlement appeared near his village, and their Glamour began to take over the land, endangering his family's crops and livelihood. While still a boy, Gillespie was brave enough to go to the Sidhe lord and ask for boon in return for some equal exchange. The lord agreed, assuming the boy a fool, but Lucas invoked the eldest laws of Glamour, binding the Sidhe to a speciic area, well away from the town, and in return, he exiled himself from the Highlands. The Sidhe Lord, unable to deny the deal, as trapped in the tiny holding, unable to leave it or spread her magic until such time as Gillespie returns to the Marches. Now, he travels the world as a member of the Knights of the Rose & Cross, fighting for all that is good. He may not have any Glamour sorcery of his own, but he works to the best of his ability to embody the ethos of the ancient knights. He has recently come to Vesten after hearing of the inhumane treatment of the miners and the Vendel League turning a blind eye to slavery. He works not just to free the Klorhulg slaves, but also to depose those members of the League that allow it to happen. He is a friendly, helpful and very chatty man just barely out of his teenage years, an amazing judge of character, and a loyal friend. He is a poet and storyteller by preference, spreading the tales of what he's seen in exchange for stories from travelers. His biggest issue is that he's a brash, daring go-getter who has no idea that anyone else is working to help the slaves and is liable to blunder into making problems for, say, Mociutes Skara.

Now, the League! Formed almost two centuries ago, it began as merely a loose alliance of merchants and traders to protect their interests and wealth. They employ, work with and trade with countless people, but formally the League itself is only 100 people - nine Chairs that form the ruling council, and 91 Seats representing various powerful people, carls, businesses, towns and trade houses around the world. You could run into a League member anywhere, pushing the goal of making the Guilder the world's currency. Some of them are Villains, others more heroic. The original membershop was just eight carls, each head of a guild. Their decision was voted on by all carls in Vesten, and included trade pacts with Avalon, Eisen and Ussura. The Imperator of Eisen at the time gifted the League with a large boost of start-up capital in exchange for a permanent place in the League. These eight carls and the Imperator's representative became the Chairs, each replaced in time by their hand-picked successor. The rest of the seats were made of various carls and merchants throughout Vesten.

Sortly after the War of the Cross, the Vendel League Chairs decided to spread themselves further beyond their shores, beginning to fill the 91 seats with foreign trade partners. In doing so, many of the members took on AValonian trade names to make it easier for foreigners to pronounce their names. Now, League membership is primarily about profit and political alliance rather than any loyalty to Vesten ideals. Each of the Chairs and Seats holds the title of master in some way. Only the Chairs are permitted to call themselves simply Master, while Seats use things like Guildmaster or Master Merchant or Master Trader. That said, the idiosyncracies of what to call a member of the League are sometimes made up on the spot. Master Mokk occasionally requires people to use as many titles as possible, even 'Carl of Vendel'. That said, no one calls on Chair Master Sigvald Gunnisen, Val Mokk, Carl of Vendel unless they're in truly great need.

The 91 Seats can be bartered, bought and sold. The Chairs cannot. Interference with a retiring Chair's choice of successor is considered practically blasphemous, and anyone who attempts to bribe, murder or buy their way to a Chair is removed from the League, either by sanction or murder. That doesn't stop the Chairs from scheming against each other, lobbying for various successors and so on. Blackmail, bribery and threats used to be commonplace, but that kind of corruption is rarer now, if only because the Chairs have gotten better at hiding their infighting. The Seats are generally more corrupt, though. They come from across the continent, and generally have much more infighting, at higher stakes. The Chairs may threaten or blackmail, but the Seats try to break each other. They mey undermine reputations or legitimacy, or bankrupt each other. Then, someone else - someone of the winner's choice - comes in to buy out the Seat. They make alliuances, gathering networks of merchants and representatives to guard against this kind of treachery.

Master Val Mokk, Sigvald Gunnisen, is head of the Merchant's Guild. On paper, all the Chairs are equal, but Val Mokk is their effective leader. His great-great-great-great-grandfather was one of the original founding carls, which he brings up often and loudly, and the Guild Chair has passed directly through the family line. Mokk was born and raised in Vendel and inherited his position from his mother about ten years ago. He is bald, poor mannered and grossly obese, but he's extremely good at what he wants to do. Which, unfortunately, is mostly manipulation, profit and powermongering. He will trade anything and everything, focusing more on the movement of goods than any specific specialty, and his fortune is largely in taxing other merchants to do business in VEndel. He was the one with the bright idea to universalize the Guilder, and he wants to use it to tax, well, everyone. Under Mokk, it has spread across Theah, but that's also meant an endless demand for silver to make new Guilders. He also has absolutely no qualms about the slavery, abuse and corruption in Klorhulg if that meets the demands. He has no love for anyone who causes loss of productivity or who meddles with the League, but is a powerful ally if you serve his purposes.

Master Allen Trel, Avor Troelsen of the Sailor's Guild, was a 15-year-old boy from Eskjo when he inherited the Chair from his mentor, Jal Erksen, who died unexpectedly. Many believed he was unready, but he's spent the past 15 years proving that he's a cool-headed, well-spoken leader who's up to the job. He's a practical man who oversees the planning of trade routes, schedules and other League matters that require knowledge of the sea. He avoids speaking his mind on any topic that doesn't concern him, and he works well with every other Chair except Joris Brak of the Carpenter's Guild, whom he has an unrequited crush on. In Brak's presence, he becomes a babbling fool who can't stop talking. Some of the League have noticed, but Brak remains entirely unaware of Trel's love for him. Most of the League sees him as entirely apolitical, which he prefers. He does have views, but primarily those are that Vesten should be led by its jarls and carls, and he's neither one. He stays out of politics as much as possible, offering up business solutions that suit everyone in areas he understands and remaining neutral otherwise. He is often sent gifts or offers of support in hopes of gaining his alliance, which he generally returned unopened. He also has some sway with the Vesten Raiders, though he does not directly employ them.

Master Joris Brak, Joris Braakenjorsen of the Carpenter's Guild, sees himself as an artist. He joined young to find an outlet for his creativity, and while his attention to detail meant he'd never be very fast, his talent for mixing beauty and utility earned him a great reputation in his village, Soroya, and later across the natio. He moved to Vendel to apprentice under the then master of the Guild, spending ten years learning and then surpassing his master's work. He was surprised, if not entirely pleased, to be appointed the next Chair when the old man retired, but he's been able to delegate must of his practical respnsibilities to others, leaving him time to pursue his art, if not as much as he wants. He is a massively strong man, yet his fingers are delicae neough to carve tiny details. He is a handsome man who ignores all attempts at flirtation and appears to be entirely married to his work. He cares little for politics, except to believe that the Vendel League must remain in control of Vesten, and he's got no head for infighting or spycraft. Most of the League knows he's loyal and strong, so they ignore him. He'd never help undermine another Chair, but could certainly be talked into fighting off some threat to the League.

Mistress Sela Cole, Selma Colbjorsdatter of the Blacksmith's Guild, is the newest of the Chairs. She was apprenticed to the best smith in Klorhulg when she was very young, and over the years proved to be extremely talented as a smith. Her mentor took her under his wing for extra training, which drew the resentment and hostility of her peers, who spread rumors of a sexual relationship between her and the old widower, though they were entirely untrue, making her life miserable. She left for Vendel with his blessing and a recommendation to the Guild Master, who soon became her next mentor, though she took great care this time to downplay any special treatment. After the old Master's death by pirates, his will named her as his successor. Despite her best efforts, some still assume that had more to do with her relationship with him than her ability. She is an extremely attractive woman who dresses to play that up by preference, often in tight-fitting Montaigne fashion. She's an excellent businesswomand and forgemistress, and her outgoing, talkative nature makes her easy to befriend and hard to hate. She's probably the most approachable of the League Chairs, though she's no slouch in politics if she has to fight. She could be a great ally to anyone who made it worth her while.

Madame Lorraine Weller, Chair of the Jenny's Guild, has been a Chair so long that no one currently in the League can remember when the Avalonian woman was not a part of it. She has a massive spy network across Theah, using her Guild to gain information to help the League. She inherited her seat after decades as aide to the old Vesten Guildmaster, and rumor has it that she's had more royals as clients than any other Jenny, though she never speaks of it and, indeed, mostly just glares at people who ask. She never appeared in public without her hair perfectly arranged and her outfit a risque gown with modest scarlet underpinnings to serve as her badge of office. Her cosmetic skill is nearly perfect, and even at her advanced age, she is an elegant beauty. She regularly takes clients at the jenny's halls, at exorbitant prices, noted as well worth it. She claims it keeps her young and invigorated. She is probably the most informed person in the League, and when it comes to protecting League interests, she is terrifying and ruthless even by the standards of the other Chairs.

Next time: The Guild of Usury

Wapole Languray
Jul 4, 2012



RELATIONSHIPS

quote:

Whatís a relationship? Well son, when a man and a woman love each other very much, or have been drinkingÖ

OK, Iíll stop. I suppose itís unfair of me to make jokes and then expect you to take things seriously. But this idea ó our relationships, our emotional ties to other people ó itís a touchy thing. We want to cushion it with laughter. There are people who suffer all manner of insult with a smile, but crack wise on their sister and suddenly things are on a different quantum level. We are often more defensive of others, and of our feelings for them, than we are of ourselves. Humans are social beings, and this is one of the times it helps us be noble and selfless.

Being close to someone makes you vulnerable. Not just in the Batman sense, where your parents get killed and you become a badass and then wonít let anyone else get close to you because then the Joker might torture them to lure you into a deadly game of bat and mouse. I mean, thatís there. Thereís a reason for the stereotype that evil criminals threaten your family, because, honestly, they do. They do because it works, because telling the Godfather to go gently caress himself is a noble gesture when itís only your head on the block, but saying it when heís pressing a gun against your kidÖ again, a different quantum level. Beyond that, though, beyond the outside threat, thereís the one inside. When you love somebody ó honestly, thatís what weíre talking about here more than anything else ó it puts a ceiling on your personal, individual, selfish happiness. If
you know your beloved daughter is in torment, thereís only so happy you can be. (Unless youíre a turd, anyhow.) Being human is emotionally hard enough when you only have to carry the weight of your own bad decisions. Knowing that someone you love could get hooked on meth or, hell, just get clobbered by a BMW? Itís a wonder any of us can even get out of bed.

But we do, and we fall in love and form friendships and develop respect and admiration because we canít really help it. We belong to each other. Itís our nature ó itís why Isolation gets its own meter and fear of roller coasters doesnít. Friendships also put a floor under your personal, individual, self-absorbed misery. You get by with a little help from your friends, your family, the people who have to take you back when you apologize and the ones who can see whatís right with you even when you, yourself, have lost sight of it.

Our ties to each other matter. They matter a lot. So Unknown Armies gives them percentile ratings.

As important as the Shock Gauge and Abilities are, they arenít very sexy or exciting. Those are the mechanical foundation, the floor-joists of the game. Everything builds on them but theyíre not the sexy exciting bits. Relationships are the first one that starts putting things together and showing just how freaking amazing Unknown Armies is, and how disappointing it is that this game has basically gone under the radar of the RPG community as a whole.

Relationships are essentially another category of Ability. They work similarly and can be used in place of ability rolls in certain circumstances. These are when you are coercing the subject of the relationship (Unknown Armies social conflict mechanic), as a substitute for Connect, Lie, Notice, Status, and Struggle when using that ability on the subject of your relationship, and as a general use if the relationship makes sense to be used as the roll or to establish a fact in the fiction based on it.

Relationships can be increased by doing Good Things for the person or organization you have a relationship with. You can do this by 5% every session per relationship, as long as the task meets one of the two criteria: It canít be something they can do easily themselves, or it has to cost you in some way. If itís a simple favor the other party can do without any special effort itís not worth the bump, unless it costs you personally in some way.

Relationships can also, once per session at the GMís discretion, request you do something for them. If the relationship is with another PC (which at least one will be) then they can do the same to you. If you do the task the relationship increases, if you refuse then it decreases. Thereís no penalty for agreeing and failing, just for not trying. Relationships are a two-way street after all.

THE FIVE MOST IMPORTANT CONNECTIONS
Each character can have five mechanically important relationships: These are archetypal and are meant to help make such a normally free-form concept more mechanically solid and usable. Every player will begin with two: One NPC or Organization and another with one of their fellow PCs.

FAVORITE

quote:

This is the one that gets all the poems and love songs. Who do you love? Whose happiness do you consider integral to your own? Now, Iím just a simple country game designer, so Iím not going to dig deep into the nature of love, but I have one observation. If thereís something you do that annoys everyone ó it bugs your mom even ó but thereís one person who thinks itís cute? That person loves you. Similarly, Will Ferrell invokes the feeling of seeing a waiter coming with your food. If thereís someone in your life who gives you that sensation every time they walk into the room? Thatís probably your favorite.

Your favorite should be an individual, not an organization. This sort of deep affection is generally left for flesh-and-blood humans. Uncomplicated functional love is generally not a good idea: Itís kind of hard for anything interestingly dramatic to come from a happy healthy relationship with no problems at all. When your biggest point of conflict is what brand of toilet paper to buy, itís probably not going to play a part in your psychological occult thriller story. Instead try for complicated poo poo. Unrequited love, relationships on some very pointy rocks, star crossed love with lots and lots of nasty drama obstacles, or just unhealthy self destructive nightmare situations that get you on daytime talk shows all work better. This relationship starts equal to your Status, itís your connection to the wider world.

GURU

quote:

Who explains what itís all about to you? When you have a deep spiritual crisis, wondering why weíre even born, and why bad things happen to good people, and whether thereís anyone at the helm or maybe God is just, like, an insecure pissy drunkÖ thatís when you approach your guru.
The Guru is your spiritual and emotional guidance. This is your Mr. Miyagi, your Master Yoda, that ex-marine bartender who always listens to your woes and offers just the right guidance. Guruís are focused on the philosophical and mental. They donít give practical advice, or help thatís directly applicable, but general spiritual, ethical, and moral advice are their stock and trade. Organizations also make a good fit for the Guru slot: Religions are of course the archetypal example, but the more idealistic political organizations or philosophically minded causes can work as well. Guru relationship starts equal with your Notice ability.

MENTOR

quote:

Who do you look at with admiration? Whoís your aspirational figure? Who do you look at and thinkďWow, _________ really has it wired together tight. Iíd be better off if I could only be more like ________Ē? If the name in that blank is someone in your cell phone directory whom you see often enough, you can consider that person your mentor.

Mentors handle the practical, day to day, useful advice in your life. The pragmatic, grounded, and immediately actionable are their purview. Organizations fit this as well, especially political parties,civic and activist organizations, and clubs. Individuals are more like teachers than philosophical guides. Think more Coach Bombay. Mentors may lead to self-actualization, but theyíre more interested in helping you get that scholarship champ, and sharpen up that slapshot before the next game. Mentor relationship starts equal with your Connect.

RESPONSIBILITY

quote:

Somewhere there is someone you have to care for. It could be someone you owe, big time. Maybe you acted badly ó abominably even ó or maybe this person just doesnít have anyone else, regardless of their needs. It could be your child, or your elderly parent, or your sister whoís in a bad spot. Or maybe you prospered on someoneís back, the cake got cut and you got all the frosting, and now you feel ashamed and want to make that right.
You could love or hate your responsibiliity, but you feel obligated to take care of them anyway. The main thing is that your responsibility should be a burden. If this relationship isnít a concern and can be safely ignored then itís a bad responsibility. It should be something you have to deal with and take care of, or else. This relationship starts equal with your Knowledge.

PROT…G…

quote:

Thereís someone who looks up to you ó or, at least, someone you think looks up to you, or should. Someone you can guide and help and, if not exactly shape, certainly influence. Positively! Someone who treats you as their guru or mentor, really.
Similar to the responsibility, except for a protťgť you help because you want to. No obligation or requirements, you do it because you want to help them. It may be self-sacrificing or self-interest, but you want to take care of this person, guide them, nurture them. This relationship starts equal to your Fitness ability.

RELATIONSHIPS, GAINED AND LOST

If you let a relationship drops to 0, or if the person or organization you had a relationship with no longer exists either through death or dissolution you get hit with an isolation 4-5 stress check, and now have that slot open. To fill it, you can either declare a new person or organization in that slot, which starts at 5%, or if the group desires they can treat it as a group objective. This can allow it to start a lot higher, but can take a lot more time, effort, and can derail the campaign. So itís only recommended if everyone is really interested in doing it.

Barudak
May 7, 2007

The adventure for Path of Sorcery sounds suitably fun to play and the lack of Chaos direct involvement really helps.

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ChaseSP
Mar 25, 2013


Well technicallllly warpstone is basically distilled chaos in a solid form.

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